How to Build a Brand in 11 Steps

Branding is the aggregate perception of your business in the marketplace, and without successful branding, your business loses a lot of potential in the marketplace. Leo and Claudine cover 11 steps to help you build a brand and stand out from the competition.
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Speaker 1 00:12 Good morning and welcome to business, illegal talk with Leah and Claudine. I am your host, Lee Yolanda Verdin. My cohost is PLA. The ins say hello. Good morning. Good morning. How are we doing? I’m fabulous. Wow. What a um Hmm. Rainy morning, uh, Amy, you know what, we shouldn’t be complaining here in, uh, on the, on the West coast because the whole, the rest of the U S is buried in snow. No, no. And, and really the drought wasn’t that long ago. Let’s be real. We want, we want water grows grass. Yeah. Yeah. So this show, um, if you are in California and if you are in a central Valley, welcome to this show. Every week we talk about the things that mattered to business owners here in California and there’s such a Valley central Valley specifically. So we have a great show for you today. Uh, if you’re just tuning in for the first time we speak to you, if you own a business or if you’re thinking about starting a business or if you’re a business that is growing fast, you definitely to listen to our show.
Speaker 1 01:12 Absolutely. So today we’re going to talk about how to build a brand in 11 steps, just 11, just 11 mile 11. I know. And uh, we may touch a little bit on seven stupid Brandon mistakes people make when I’m, you know, in business. Oh, that’s for me the things that you don’t want to do. Yup. And if we have time, six ways to measure brand equity. Oh my goodness. No, we have a show for this is pack. This is a packed day. What is branding? Is branding, marketing Brown. Come on question. I know. Branding is the aggregate of what your perception of your, of your business in the marketplace. That’s right. So, um, but you know, before we get into that, I want to talk about the weather a little bit because you know, I went to school in the Midwest that’s right in, in Wisconsin and uh, some of the cities in Wisconsin are like negative nine degrees in barrier, two, three feet of snow.
Speaker 1 02:07 I can’t even imagine. I have born and raised in California, not necessarily the central Valley, but certainly in, um, weather positive weather areas. So you never went to college where there was black eyes and no, and you had to dig your way out of your front porch, no. Into the car. No. And you have to scrape the stuff off of your windshield. Now that stuff. And you know, we S when we moved to the central Valley, my husband and I, um, when we found the property that we’re at now, we, we were so excited because it, we raise horses, you know, that, um, and, and one of the things about the property that we found is that the soil is extremely Sandy. Much of it in our area here, you know, turn, lock South of Turlock is very, very Sandy and there’s no clay. And so our horses never get muddy.
Speaker 1 02:50 There’s no puddles. We never, in fact, my mother was out for the holidays and, uh, she is coming from Arizona and she grew up and she’s born in Detroit. So she familiar with that type of weather. And, um, she just couldn’t get over the fact that we just don’t have puddles. There’s no, even when it’s pouring, pouring rain, the minute it stops, um, it soaks into the sand and it’s as if, you know, it’s like sand at the beach when it’s wet. Wow. So we’re very, very lucky, um, intentionally, um, intentionally came to this area for that reason. Yeah. And this, you know, people may say a lot of things about California, the bats usually the bad stuff, but right. So much good. I mean, this still, this data’s still the engine, one of the angels of this country and it’s just a great place to be.
Speaker 1 03:33 Especially the weather doesn’t hurt either. It really is entered to everybody. I know that there’s a big push. A lot of people are moving out of California and, and, and I certainly empathize with a lot of them, but I would say if you’re thinking to move out, maybe consider staying in helping it become a better place. We know what funny thing you mentioned that, because I just read an article. Um, millennials, right? This, this generation, uh, of, of the new generation, which is the kind of those born after like 1982 in like 2000 and either kind of towards the end of the century, you know, last, you know, 1999, 2000, that bunch of people, um, 44% of this new millennial millionaires, newly minted, 44% of those, according to CNBC are in California. 44% of all new millennials who happened to be millionaires are in California tech industry. Tech tech.
Speaker 1 04:30 Yeah. Uh, Palo Alto in Northern California. Most of it is tech, but not all the point is stuff where all the bad things that people say about this state, it produces 44% of all millennial millionaires are here. Right? So it’s just fit in to talk about branding. So listen to this. According to Nielsen survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiars to them. You know, the whole adage, it takes, you know, seven, you know, people becomes . We can become very robotic about life in general. Right. You know, it’s funny, you know, um, when, whenever I, and I’m on the road quite a bit, so, you know, driving throughout the state and when I get hungry, I usually will pick a place that I list that I most recently heard about. Of course, you know, and usually it’s McDonald’s and it’s, I don’t think about it, you know, you see McDonald’s all of a sudden I feel hungry.
Speaker 1 05:25 Right. And it could be, you know, it could be cars, it could be anywhere, but it’s what’s fresh in my mind. Does that ever happen to you? No, I okay. So no, no. I eat junk food. I apologize. I try not to, but it’s just my reality right now. My thing is, um, I do not like change. I avoid change. Uh, a great, great. I make great effort to avoid change. So I eat the same thing all the time. And I’m one of those people who literally can eat the same thing night after night for dinner. I don’t like no.
Speaker 2 05:58 And my husband goes crazy about it because he’s the completely the opposite. He tries all the different dishes and all the different different meats and different, different types of food. No, not at all. And so for me, I have like four places that I’d like and then I will, you know, I’ll choose from, you know, one of the four if I can find them, I can usually find one of the four. So you know, Carl’s jr is one of my favorite because they have chicken strips like chicken and I don’t, I don’t vary on the menus either. I go to the same place and there may be two or three things that’ll eat. I don’t like to take a chance that I won’t like it. Disappointment. I don’t do disappointment I guess risk averse when it comes to food. That’s, Oh yes, absolutely. Absolutely.
Speaker 1 06:43 Okay, so back to branding. So if you read that, if you let me know, if you heard that, you know, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them, it would appear that to the small business, you have an upstream battle. As a small business owner, you may be competing against bigger brands, big brands. In general with devoted customers and unlimited marketing budgets. Think Coca-Cola, think Apple, right? Just those household names. That’s why you have to find ways to differentiate when, when us with a solid brand building pro, when, when you’re doing building a brand for yourself, all companies start from nothing to become something. So you know, so we’re going to be exploring that and we know you mentioned what is a brand and a brand is Def is a define the overall perception and perception is everything. When it comes to branding
Speaker 2 07:36 thing, it’s, it’s perception is actually everything in a lot of
Speaker 1 07:39 in a lot of a lot of areas. So, um, so number one, determining your brand’s target audience. Who as a business owner, you’re a business owner. I always think of it as an avatar. You know, um, a lot of the marketing seminars, a lot of this, the podcasts that I listened to are just, you keep coming back to this ward avatar is you should know your ideal customers down to their age group, how many kids they have, where they live, the type of cars they drive. We know literally 2.3 kids, 1.7 cars in a 400,000 square foot home, you know, I mean a 400,000 home at whatever, whatever your ideal customer is that you’re marketing to, you should need, you need to know the good, the bad and the ugly. Everything is almost like you’ve been spying on them. Data mining, data mining. So that’s how you know, you know, avatar is.
Speaker 2 08:43 So, yeah, we’ll explain the avatar because I know the avatar to me it sounds like, um, you know, it’s, um, it’s your caricature on, on your, um, video games, right? Yes. I mean,
Speaker 1 08:56 yeah, I mean it could, but simply is the way I understand avatar is you imagine if you were to put a picture on a wall and that picture has a name to you, that could be a, you know, Adam Smith or it could be Kim Johnson in H 44, like, who is the person that is buying your services that the types of customers that you want got it. Is your defined ideal client is right, is the one that pays your bills on time, right? That you don’t have to keep calling for to collect. Every time you talk to them, there’s a joy that you can’t wait to talk to them because they will do everything you ask them to do. That will do a properly, they will do it right the first time. They will do it on time. They will never bother you. They always seen your prices right?
Speaker 1 09:47 Just about everybody. Excellent. But whole cow. So but, but you put that on on, on a, on a wall, right on and wallpaper and you know their name, you know their age, whether they’re married or single, right? The kind of car they drive. You know what their, there’s likes, you know what, what are the, what are their tastes, what, what books they read, what magazines they, they, you know, they read what podcasts they listened to. That is the world that we’re in to. When you are in, in, in defining brand and you’ve got to start with who is your target audience, you’re not going to please everybody in order. Do you want to please, you don’t have unlimited funding, right? Right. This whole thing about it comes down because you know the, the, nowadays you can’t just market to everybody. You gotta have an avatar. You gotta have a niche in the niche as your friend. I think what you’re trying to explain, here’s what we’re going to break. Stay tuned. We’ll be right back. Business and legal talk lyric. Claudia
Speaker 3 10:46
Speaker 1 11:09 right. We are coming back for the second segment of how to brand your business. And we are talking about the top 11 things you need to do to brand your business. And you were talking about avatars, so super old school. Cause that makes me think of video games. I know. Or do you think that people think of the movie avatar, right? Yes, yes, I know of didn’t watch. Yeah. Good movie. James Cameron. You know, gosh, I heard this. Awesome. I’ll digress if I can garden. So talking about movies. Yeah. Audience, persona, demographics. So the key to branding in today’s market is to go deep within a niche, whatever niche, wherever you know, people call it niche or niche, whatever. The more specific you can get, it’s easier to go is because we don’t have unlimited dollars for marketing right up through . So you get the deeper, you go in a segment, it’s better to go a mile deep than a mile wide,
Speaker 2 12:09 right? But don’t you have, don’t you believe that that branding starts at home and you have to, it’s not just your logo, it’s not just your mission statement, it’s not just the product or service that you’re, that you’re, you’re selling or that you’re providing, but you have to combine all of those things together. The who you are
Speaker 1 12:29 before you go look for the person who’s going to buy it, right? So how do you want to be perceived? Right? Right now, for instance, you know, and slogans and taglines, right? Um, I like Walmart, no disrespect to Walmart, but I don’t, I go there because sometimes it’s just convenient of course. Right? And that’s, that’s, that’s the brand they’ve created, right? It’s convenient. You know, what is, uh, uh, lifts Mar save better or something like that. Their tagline. But, but that’s different than going to Nordstrom. You know, if you want a shopping experience, you go to Nordstrom, correct? If you want to buy and get out, you go to Walmart, right? Everything, the way the stores are laid out in both places, entirely different branding, right? It’s . So that’s what you have to keep in mind, for instance, uh, is you’ve got to get specific.
Speaker 1 13:20 Who are you going after? Are you going after single moms who work from home? Is doc, who you service? Are you going after tech savvy, early adopters, right? Those who are willing to try anything just because they want to be caught with the latest, newest gadget, right? Tech companies will, will look for those. They call them sneezers, right? Those people that are always looking for ways to innovate, you know, the iPhone didn’t get rolled out to the entire world at once. It started with test groups, right? Those are people who are willing to try new technologies just because, right. I’m not one of those. Right? So I’m gonna challenge you. Yes. I’m gonna throw you, I’m gonna throw you a curve ball. Actually, I have a couple of
Speaker 2 13:57 balls I’m ready to throw. Boy, cause I’ve been, I’ve been raring up here while we were on break watch out. Okay. Nike’s mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. How do you think that that combines with their tagline of just do it
Speaker 2 14:15 and there’s a difference between the mission and the tagline, right? And there’s a difference between your logo and you know, uh, your tagline and or all the different components that go into creating a brand. And then you have a tagline so that that was your curve ball for the day. Hit that one on the park. Get me out or get me out of this batter up. Here we go. It’s just that, that it’s multifaceted and it’s multilayered. Is that when you, when you’re creating a brand, it’s not just a, a twoD or a one di photograph, it’s a 3d. There’s, there’s multiple layers in there and that if you really get creative, you can actually start to provide more than one layer and more than one vision of what your company is. And so you have that mission statement and, and you know, Mo back, it was interesting.
Speaker 2 15:05 I my, I won’t even go ahead. I digress about mission statements and I think it’s good for every company to have a mission statement. If not, if you don’t have it actually written down, but you have a vision of what is your mission and your goal and what you’re providing and that you’re clear about your mission. Um, we are clear about what our mission is. We’re, we know that we don’t do criminal law and we’re clear about that. We represent business owners. Um, and to some extent we do, you know, real estate work, but we’re very clear on what we do because we don’t want to dilute our S our central focus. So I think that when you look at a mission statement like Nike’s and then you look at what is the tagline that they put out on all of their branding and all of their, um, you know, newspapers are not newspapers but their print marketing as well as their TV branding. The just do it. I think those two actually go together. Inspiration, just do it. They’re trying to provide inspiration to athletes. They’re trying to, um, innovate the world. It’s just do it. That’s innovation. So I think it’s really interesting that if you start to look at some of the, um, the branding that is out there for some of these big companies, it’s multilayered.
Speaker 1 16:18 Good point. Good point. So for the sake of time, let’s keep going number to establish a brand mission statement. Have you thought about your brand’s mission? It’s funny, I was actually asked to do we have a written and an actually written mission statement and we do not. Andy, you, I don’t have a written mission statement and it’s something that I guess I need to work on in 2020. Well I’m going, I’m not convinced you actually have to have
Speaker 2 16:44 in statement. Um, I am, I just, I am convinced that you need to be clear on what you’re trying to do and what your goal is as an organization. Um, but I don’t know that you have to be old school and have it written over the door.
Speaker 1 16:57 So for those who are listening, so what is the definition of a brand mission is to craft a clear expression of what your company is most passionate about. Exactly. So what are we most passionate, what are you most passionate about? Representing business owners and keeping them alive. And we talk about that on this part PR program. Not, not just staying alive, but profitability as well. And that’s why that’s your key. Yes. And you know, speaking of which, this year I went through it, you know, we redid our website and we just really crafted yes Dave. Yes. Gave him, give him a shout out. Hey, here’s a shout out to nets from [email protected] if you’re looking for a, just really refining your branding and just really how you’re going to the marketplace and how he helps me with perception, how to really carve out your niche. He does all of that and he does it for us. He’s inspirational. And um, keep
Speaker 2 17:50 in mind that he was a guest on our show and you can find that previous podcast on your website. Yes,
Speaker 1 17:55 it is now in our website. So, um, we’ll have the transcription of this show soon enough also at where, where you know, you can actually learn more about it. But one of the things that we discovered in this exercise of rebranding ourselves was to really distill the message of our brand in a little in the slogan, you know, what’s the catch phrase? And we decided that what we’re most passionate about is helping, uh, our customers have more profit, more value and more freedom. Love it. If you were to really encapsulate what green and is all about, it’s about more profit for our clients first and foremost fate. Because if I, if we can help you, our team can help you deliver more profit, it will thereby increase the value your enterprise value, the value of your company, the value of your business. And almost 80% plus of all of our customers are going somewhere where their branding, they want to scale to keep it as an income in a passive income asset or they want to scale so they can actually get the maximum value for their business and actually sell it and retire into an Island in the Pacific.
Speaker 2 19:01 Do you L D has anybody ever mention to you that you’re also, um, I don’t want to say selling cause I don’t think selling is the right word, but um, hope is closely associated with your mission, with your mission? Well, absolutely. I think when when when you work with business owners, you’re providing them hope for profitability, that goal that we’re all striving for and that more time with our family or the possibility of perhaps retiring someday and this is kind of encapsulated in that idea of hope and that that is something very, um, inspiring. Well, you’ve, you’ve gotten a chance to see that firsthand, right? If I become your biggest cheerleader, right? I only work with were clients that I were, I can see the glimmer in there. I hope that I can awaken the giant within, you know, um, if I can see that you are passionate or what you do and you just need direction, right? I can help you get there
Speaker 1 19:58 where you are today and where you’re going to be. I am by nature a visionary. I see. I see vision in people, but when my role is to become a CFO and an a business advisors for my clients, right? I’m able to articulate that vision because I’m outside of them. I can be unbiased, right? Right. I can give them really it true perception of who they are. But what keeps me know, what gets me excited every morning is to see my clients happy and success and delivering, you know, double digit growth. And in our average customers growing 30% year over year, it’s not mystery that we can, we have the core defied everything. We know exactly what we need to help you. So back to more profit, more valuable freedom. And that’s what you’re, you’re, you wouldn’t do what you do if you didn’t have a passion for this small business owner.
Speaker 1 20:48 That’s good to know the changes that are happening in the law around them, which is a segment for our next show that we’re going to be doing. You know, there, our next show is going to be about the changes coming up in labor law. Yeah. But that’s what you are passionate about. Absolutely. In what we do. Um, you know, we, we want to work with our clients proactively prior to there ever being any problems. However, with that being said, a lot of our clients are contacting us after there’s a problem. And so we are also kind of engaging in that, um, hope commodity in that one. We are trying to help build a business that’s protected from liability and we’re doing the best that we can to help them strive and move forward and feel like they’re not in the ocean by themselves on one hand.
Speaker 1 21:33 But also on the other hand, when there is a problem and the clients are contacting us because there’s a problem, we are also there to offer that hope commodity. Um, that there is a way out. You know, I worked with a client last week and, and we’ve kind of been in engaged in um, uh, an ongoing battle and you know, had to sit down and say, Hey, let’s, let’s remember the important stuff. Number one, family’s healthy, everybody’s happy. Um, number two, you have, you know, great job. You’ve got a fantastic future. While we have these issues over here with business center. T, you know, we have to kind of sometimes separate it. And so I think that we, we do as well. And I think that is super important to people, um, that they do get to engage in that hope strategy. Um, it’s just, it’s what we’re built on, so, so you’re starting to see it, you know, um, as you’re digesting this whole branding, it starts with you.
Speaker 1 22:31 What is it that you want, right, right. Who do you want to work with the days of, you know, put in a shingle out or outside your office and waiting for people to come. Those days are over, over. You have got to go after your customers and the customers that you want to work with. You don’t have to, you, you know that you can fire clients. You don’t have to worry. I become pretty familiar with that early on in my glare of clients. Why? Because when we’re not, when we’re not going in the same direction, it produces dissonance. Correct. Right. And that there’s nothing worse with working out of congruence, you know, just not being in sync. I work best with clients that believe what I believe, right about growth. And you know what, as a CFO you never going to hear me. I mean, even though it’s embedded in the conversation, tax planning and tax strategies and, and how to save the most.
Speaker 1 23:22 And I don’t really, I rarely ever talk about tax bunny. There’s no point in talking about income tax if you haven’t made any income. But when you start making those real, you know, the, you know, the 400,000, the 500,000, $1 million a year in net income, then you got some tax consequences, then we can bring in the team to talk about that, right? But that was number two. And uh, you know, in the list of 11 ways to build the brand, number three is researched brands, research brands within your industry niche. You do not want to be a copycat, right? A lot of people, what they do, what is it? Okay? But I understand you don’t want to be a copy cat copycat, but at the same time, you don’t want to reinvent the wheel. You don’t want to be, I’m here to write a fine find spot of comfort zone in there.
Speaker 1 24:07 There’s two types of, uh, ways of looking at it. Some people is, let me try out something that the world has never seen before. So you’ve got the, you know, the two outliers, the people that are willing to try something. You know what nobody is, you know, uh, figured out a way to live without oxygen. Let me go be the first one in the world to figure out a way that you can live without oxygen, right? Right. As far out there as it is, people are thinking about that. But if it is a very small percentage of the population and there is the other extreme, like, is it, you know what? I just want to take a brand and change the letter and try to make it my own, right. Well, you can’t really do that, right? There’s legal reasons why you can just do that.
Speaker 1 24:47 But I think we, you’ve got to strike a balance between, you don’t want to be so in front of a trend that the world is not ready for you. Right. And you don’t want to be behind the trend with the market. The market has matured enough that there’s no room for you. It’s all the me too. So I’ve joined the movement. Right? It’s a really, it’s a really a fine line and I think it’s really about knowing yourself. There’s some people who are not comfortable in any kind of conforming program. So those are the people who they don’t want to be followers. They want to be, you know, out there completely stretch, stretching out and going into totally new territories. But with that being said, you know, be prepared for that ride too. Cause that ride is, you know, can be an entirely different well program.
Speaker 1 25:34 True. Um, I think some people are never really prepared to compete at that level in, in it, whether there is their own, um, mindset. A lot of us get ourselves in a way like we are our worst enemy when it comes to building a business. And definitely we don’t have the, we think we can do everything ourselves. We never seek input from the outside world. Right? We never know if we’re never validating our ideas and with trying to be like somebody else and it fails, right? But there are tried and true, you know, some people just are just meant to be in a franchise model. Right, right. True. And because there are some people that are very comfortable in that because they know where the boundaries are and, and that is a good thing. The world needs every single variation of this. But you know, also you have to be willing to innovate and be kind of pushing your own envelope and that helps you kind of stride with the times.
Speaker 1 26:30 So here’s the thing, you have to remember, the goal is to differentiate, differentiate yourself from the competition. There is something so compelling, so unique, your unique brand, your unique selling proposition that’s unique to you that people come to you, right? How you stand out as a brand. There is a reason why people love the Patagonia brand, right? or REI, right? Well, if you can buy sports equipment anywhere, why are some people, you know, every time I drive by an REI and there’s a special sale, there is a line a mile long. What about those people that are willing to endure subzero temperatures for the privilege of walked through those doors and buy something that is sold REI? What is also think about the brand. What are Patagonia people? The way they are is like build a Colt around their, their, their brand, right? Some people are meant to do that, right?
Speaker 1 27:23 I think we can all learn from that. So I think, uh, as you’re looking at your business is you don’t want to be just like everybody else that did they, you know, so then you know, it would be like being in the yellow pages, right? And then you’re going to name yourself, your business started with AAA something. So you can be the first one people call, right? We’re in a sea of commodity. You know, I think a lot of industries are becoming commoditized. That doesn’t mean that you have to be one of them. And this actually applies tip from every type of business, from the micro business, the, you know, the person who’s out there, you know, creating a landscaping business to the person who is, you know, inventing new products. This type of branding, this type of understanding yourself and understanding where it all starts and what you’re trying to deliver is step one before you get to step two, which is to identify your market and identify your niche. Absolutely. Well, we got to go to break. So fun stuff. Stay tuned. We’ll be right back. Finish up.
Speaker 5 28:26 All right. Welcome back. Um, so talking about the 11, how to build your brand in 11 steps. All right, so
Speaker 1 28:36 we spend way too much time in the first three. Sorry. It’s fine. Summer four, outline the Creek wallet is a benefits your brand offers. Remember this show is about branding and M brand branding has become a big thing. And um, so there will always be brands with bigger budgets and more resources at their disposal. Um, your products, your services and benefits belong solely to you and your company. Right? So starting a brand that is a member of that is memorable. It means that you dig deep to figure out what you offer that no one else is offering. So think about that, right? That’s your uniqueness. What is, what is makes you unique? You know, I love this book. I was thinking about it during the break. Um, it really revolutionized the way I think about branding and marketing. And that is propo purple cow by Seth Godin that you know, that the godfather of marketing, it’s a book that came in the night.
Speaker 1 29:35 It probably the 90s. It was a best seller. It was a bet perennial bestseller. Um, and he argued at the time like, what would people talk about? I’m unique, you know, look, you know, if the average store is open from eight to five, I’m going to be open from eight to six. And that makes me very unique. So I’m going to be open one hour longer than everybody else. He says, big deal. But what’s unique about that? Yeah, I’m with him. But what he’s saying is how are you going to be so radically different? Why was Amazon so radically different than the, there was no Amazon prior to Amazon because he re-invented the way people look at the marketplace and the way books were being sold at the time.
Speaker 2 30:14 But I think that that, again, we’re kind of, now we’re talking about that that person or that, that organization that is really willing to push the envelope and correct as opposed to being a little bit more middle of the road where you’re not just cookie cutter, but at the same time you’re not flying out there all by yourself into completely new and revolutionize world where a lot of people, when they get to that place, I mean it is hard to sell yourself when you’re that radically different whether it be sell yourself to your customers or maybe to your, your banker or you know, the, the vendors. When you are so far out there and you’re pioneering a completely new world, I mean, I, I’m all for it and I say, you know, I’m with ya. But at the same time recognize that you may be in that place for by yourself for awhile. You may have to go it alone. I’m sure Jeff Bezos probably said it, his idea to a few people early on and they went,
Speaker 1 31:09 most investors didn’t want to be part of it. Yeah, you’re right. Because he was too much of a visionary and yes, you don’t want to be Amazon and there’s only so many people can handle that level of intensity, that level of intensity. But in our, if you will, no matter what you do with a unit construction, whether you are insurance, whether you are in healthcare,
Speaker 2 31:28 create some way to be unique,
Speaker 1 31:30 how can you be unique, right? How can you look around and you know, knowledge is power. How much and how well do you know your competition? Uh, one of the things that um, we do whenever we engage and we started looking at what we do, what we, when we’re doing something, we call the baseline analysis, right? So we look at a company and look at what has been from a financial start with the financials. You know, where they’d be in the law. In order for us to predict the future three years forward. I want to be able to go back three years and see where you’ve been before. I prescribe where you’re going. But Russell, look at, you know, your competition. You know, your customers, who, who do you sell to and who do likes you? And what is the water on the street? You know, what are the testimonials?
Speaker 1 32:11 What do people like about your product or service? What do they dislike? Might you want to know everything? Uncomplete, SWOT analysis, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats about your company and your brand. And uh, usually what happens, people don’t know, right? I mean, do you know your competition, right? I ask my customers, do you know who your top 10 competitors are? Do you know their founders? Do you know their sales? Do you know what they’re good at? You know, how are you going to be explored? How are you going to be able to X, X, X, um, uh, capitalize on their weaknesses if you don’t know what they are
Speaker 2 32:45 and you know, you know, a good way to find out is start interviewing your competitors and start interviewing them as if you were going to maybe sign up for their service or, and, and listen to their pitch. What, what is it that they’re pitching? Um, I’ve had a couple of people recently come in to talk to us about digital marketing and you know, we want to know, you know, the full blown, what is it you’re pitching. And you know, we, if you’re in that shopping position, it’s a little bit more comfortable. But even if you’re not, even if you are a competitor, interview them, hear what they are pitching here, here, what they’re, they’re willing to give for X, you know, and what is their monthly fee and you know, what are, what are they willing to do? We’ve actually done that. We’ve actually done that with some of our competitors gone out into the market and, and you know, basically interviewed him as if we were going to hire them.
Speaker 1 33:37 Absolutely. You do that through secret shopping or did they knew that you were actually the both? Both.
Speaker 2 33:41 Both. There are, um, there are competitors who are very open about their businesses and um, are more, um, like willing to reach out a hand and kind of open themselves up to you and they’re very competent in their business and so they will sit down and they’ll talk with you and they’re in a sense a mentor you, um, if you’re asking the questions, they’re very happy to provide answers. And then there are other people who are a little bit more close. I find that those are people who typically don’t have a lot of confidence in their business. And if I want to know something from them that we probably have to approach them as a secret shopper. But there are people in within your industry, I guarantee it in virtually every industry that are confident in their business, they enjoy seeing new people come into the industry. And they’re willing to act and you know, talk with you as a mentor would.
Speaker 1 34:26 Hmm. Good point. All right, so number five, create a brand logo and a tagline. Well, I think we talked a little bit about that. You know, you, what is your brand? What does your brand stand for, you know, down to the color palette. Do you have a brand? Do you have brand colors? You know, I always go to, um, there are some companies that are religious with religious fanaticism. They protect their brand that if they’re going to let you use their, their, their brand for something, they want to make sure that you don’t miss a stroke of their brand design. You’re not one degree away from their colors. That it has to be spot on. They, you know, you got to police your brand and you know, what people perceive you. And um, you know, they’re big companies. They have IP lawyers, right? I mean, also in house counsel whose sole job is to make sure that nobody is violating their trademarks. Right?
Speaker 2 35:25 Oh boy. Let me, that is a big project. And if you’re an international business or even a national business, I’m trademarking is um, the big business and federal, right? It’s, it’s multilayered. And there are organizations that spend a tremendous amount of time and energy, um, managing their brand.
Speaker 1 35:47 Yeah. Policing the trademarks, alarming. I mean, if somebody wanted to trademark w w w we use suggest a, a federal, when do you suggest a federal trademark versus a state trademark?
Speaker 2 36:00 Federal, uh, if definitely if you’re going to be inter, um, national, you know, working outside of California, if you’re just inside of California and you have a product, uh, probably don’t need to do the, the, the federal branding it, unless you’re going to start selling online and you’re going to be, you know, kind of crossing state lines. Um, federal, uh, trademarking is a little bit more difficult to get when you apply for your federal trademark. They actually assign you a trademark attorney that works for the federal government that works with you to iron out a lot of stuff. Whereas state level, it’s kind of a signup. They approve it and go with you, but w but you will work hand in hand on the federal level with an attorney that, um, that goes through that stuff. So yeah, it’s important. Don’t be afraid of it. Certainly don’t be afraid of it and certainly start at the state level.
Speaker 1 36:47 Great. Good. Moving on. So number six, and our list, this 11 steps for you to really brand yourself is to form your own brand voice. What does that mean? Well, it’s how you communicate with your customers as how they respond to you. How do they perceive you? Is is your brand voice professional? Uh, is it friendly? You want to be there? Powell is a service oriented, is it authoritative, technical, promotional, conversational, informative. What is your brand voice? Right. I think in our world, you and me are in a, I would say the professional services, right? So there’s a certain professionalism that is expected of us. Now, you know, if you’re in a software, if you’re a techie, you know, when you show up to work, you know, it’s, maybe you can be in a, in a, in a hoodie, in a, you know, intended jeans and tennis shoes and a tee shirt.
Speaker 1 37:42 I mean, that’s, that was expected, right? Aid, how your employees are dressed, you know, to work and what are the, you know, how does your office laid out, you know, the creatives, they want to have their office kind of whimsical. And you know, a lot of the tech companies are sort of leading the way in how workspace kind of functions. And that’s part of your brand, right? Right. When you, you know, when you walk into a place, the minute you step through that door, you get to experience someone’s brand and you know, down to the music that they play. You know, I over, you know, the, the, the, the holiday I was, you know, we go shopping and you know, Thanksgiving and a black Friday and then you got to go places, uh, and, and you walk into some, you know, they youth, you know, they, you, you know, the young places, I don’t even know their names. Uh, urban Outfitters and all those Schultz at the mall is store a, you’ll hear that music. Yeah. Free music and different stores, different vibes listened to by certain crowds. Right. The kids will have, you know, that the louder, you know, the, some of the young places will have this very loud music item connect with anymore, but, um, but, but they’re speaking to that audience. But if you want,
Speaker 2 38:54 if you want to see branding at, at probably at, at
Speaker 1 38:58 top level, just walk through the mall, right?
Speaker 2 39:00 I mean, that really is where there has been a tremendous amount of time and energy placed on color palettes and the vibe and what things are in the front window versus at the back of the store. And it’s it really, and you can look at that and if you take that and just kind of convert it into what, what is your business, then um, you can certainly see how all of those things are coming to play in one in one kind of package.
Speaker 1 39:26 Yeah. So, um,
Speaker 1 39:29 it just, it just the lesson and if you can’t really bear your hand in his head in the sand when it comes to branding, you got know that more now anymore you got anymore really at the front lines of defining your brand. Because if you don’t define your brand new for your business, somebody else will and you may not like it. Speaking of that, a little cyber is social media, right? And it all days people were saying, you know, I’m really confident in the way the way my customers perceive you, so I’m not really gonna engage in social media. And then people started saying bad things about the company and there was nobody to respond to. Now we have this, uh, position that companies are hiring for a social media manager, right? Who’s actually managing the customer experience on the social media, whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, whatever. Because you got to be with the times, you know, the medium is social media and you got to, your brand has to be involved
Speaker 2 40:13 and there are companies that assist you with that. If you’re, if you’re out there listening, you’re thinking, Oh my, you know, how in the heck am I going to manage, you know, social media and Instagram and all and the responses for heaven sakes, right? There are people that do help you with that and it’s rather affordable. And because it’s very, very accessible, it doesn’t require people to, you know, have, you know, outrageous degrees or,
Speaker 1 40:35 right. They’re very accessible. So number seven, before old break, build a brand message in an elevator pitch. This is always a tough one, but simple is better. You know, we went through multiple iterations of our brand to it until we landed in more profit, more value, more freedom. It’s easy to remember. And when we talk about, when we come back, we can talk about what an elevator pitches, because people may not know, Oh, that’s an elevator pitch is, that’s the old school phrase. This all score. I stay tuned. We’ll be right back.
Speaker 0 41:26 Oh, right, right.
Speaker 2 41:26 We are back for the final segment on how to build a brand in 11 steps. But before we do that, we need to talk about branding. Where can we find you?
Speaker 1 41:36 All right, well, so you know what we do? We help you with more profit, more value, more freedom. If you want to know more about that, go to our [email protected] or you can call her office a (559) 207-3148. Speaking of branding,
Speaker 2 41:52 speaking and branding, you can find the Sharon law firm here in Modesto on Stanford Avenue, on the [email protected]. And that’s S H E R R O Excellent. And you can serve clients all over the state, all over the state. This, yeah, this technology didn’t just affect social media. It has affected every industry. Most of our clients really don’t have time to take to come to the office and meet with us. So we meet with them, um, remotely as well. Um, interestingly enough, um, most court appearances now are done by court call, phone call. Yeah. It’s just, it’s really an inefficient way to deal with, um, appearances for a client to have to pay us to say drive to say Stockton from here or Fresno. Um, things are done by phone now, even in the courtroom. It’s fabulous. Okay. So we got 700 cases, but yes, we can because what, wait, we gotta talk about elevator pitch because a lot of people hear elevator pitch and they think, what the heck is that? It is a pitch that is does that is so short. And so to the point that you can deliver it in an elevator ride. So oftentimes if your cotton elevator was somebody, you should be able to quickly whip out your business card and give them the quick elevator pitch about your business.
Speaker 1 43:05 So not to put you on the spot, but you’re, I think you’re a pro at your own elevator pitch, right? What would it be? Oh K we are
Speaker 2 43:12 are those central Valley’s business and real estate law firm here to assist clients in growing and developing their business.
Speaker 1 43:21 We help businesses to deliver more profit, more value, more freedom.
Speaker 2 43:25 Okay. You know what? You don’t, you don’t get extra points because you, you’ve have just been reworking your website and doing all of this brain work. Okay, so it is.
Speaker 1 43:35 So back to branding. So we talked about number seven, you know, it’s built a brand messaging and Layla or elevator pitch and number eight is let your brand personality shine. Boy, how do you do that?
Speaker 2 43:49 I think that you should, this is a really good time to, to reach out to people who are around you and get feedback. Um, you know, focus groups are used by big companies. Focus groups are used by, um, you know, attorneys facing big lawsuits. So, you know, we want to get a focus group and see how is our message getting across? Are you getting what I’m putting down? I know on a small level on the, on the micro level, we do that within our office, we will sit down with somebody else and um, we actually have a few people who are outside of the legal industry that we will send documents to, uh, for them to read, to hear the feedback. So, you know, read this document, read this pleading, let me know if you’re, you, what, what you got out of that. And then when they tell us then we was, Oh, or spot on w w we delivered the right message or they kind of go in, it’s a little confusing. It’s kind of circular. You’re, you’re bouncing all over the place with your message. So I really, really think that it’s important for you to take your message and try it out on the people who you know and love. Um, and every now and then, maybe somebody who is a little bit distant from you just say, Hey, what do you, what do you think about this? Um, am I communicating the right message or are you getting this
Speaker 1 45:02 out of it? So I hope this is helpful to you. I know we said a lot in the, you know, I’ve, I’ve heard that the transcripts of our shows can be 10,000 words long, which is you talk a lot. Yeah, I, it’s your fault. You make me talk a lot. Keep it going, keep it going. But, but I hope this is helpful. We don’t expect to solve every problem for every topic we discuss. But if you have questions, feel free to reach out to us. Even if you know you don’t have to engage us, you don’t have to work with us. We really here to help the community. Yes. This show, it’s about really helping business owners be more successful because if they are more successful, they will hire more people, will make the world go round, we have a better economy, we’ll have more jobs, we have lower unemployment rate, et cetera.
Speaker 1 45:44 But back to brand personality, I think the best way to looking at it is, you know, from left to right, you know, come up comp with a grid for you know, in, in, you know, if you were in a middle for instance, if you were put on, you know, put on the left and on the rise. So if you’re on the left is person personable and friendly on the right it’s going to be corporate and professional. And where do you rank, you know, are you closer to personable and friendly or are you more in the corporate professional side? Right? You, you’re the only one that can actually answer that because you are the brand’s, uh, ambassador, right? You should be your own brand’s ambassador
Speaker 2 46:16 and really no matter what industry you’re in, you can, you can be pro that professional on the professional side of that spectrum. Even if you are in a residential home cleaning that you know, the more professional brand would be, you know, tailored, um, uniforms, name tags, or if you are not on that really, you know, branded PR professional end of the spectrum, you’re more casual. That’s fine too. In the same industry. Just know where you want to be. You want to be. Some people feel more comfortable when the, say the carpet cleaner comes to the door and they have a uniform shirt on, they’ve got the name tag on and they just feel more comfortable about that appearance. And then on the other hand, having been in that industry, some people are more comfortable when you come to the door and you are casual and you know, dress nicely but casual and they feel like they can relate.
Speaker 1 47:06 You know what’s interesting, um, if you watch a Ted talks, have you ever watched them?
Speaker 2 47:12 No, I, I know what they are. They got very popular during my, my youngest tenure in high school. High
Speaker 1 47:18 school. Yeah. So this TedTalks you get to see people that they’ve developed one topic over 20 minutes, usually about 20 minutes. They’re all over the country now, but they’re just, you, you come out for, you got 20 minutes to develop one topic. You get to see the personalities and the way they dress when they come on stage. And um, you see how people are comfortable because that’s, you know, that’s a statement of who you are, is how you come across, how your work, the way you speak, and whether you’re prepared in, in the collateral materials that you use to show this audience. And for those that come as a company that represents their brand, like for instance, you know, I was, I will never be able to pull a, I mean, I will never be comfortable just comfortable being on a tee shirt and jeans and sneakers, uh, talking to, uh, 2000 people in a crowd just because that’s not who I am.
Speaker 1 48:06 A premium to be a little more on, you know, on the, on the professional casual side. But to be that lax, it’s not a me, but that says something about their brand. You know, a lot of the tech companies, they are very lax in their way because they but they’re some of the most brilliant people you ever met. But they’re comfortable in that and you just have to know where you stand. Are you a spontaneous high energy or are you careful thinking and planning? Are you modern or high tech or your classical, traditional, right? Um, you know, modern, high-tech, you know, versus classic. I mean, you know, you got the, you know, the Polish furniture or you got the Ikea furniture, you know, it’s, and it’s all okay and it’s all okay. It’s, it’s how you want to come across cutting edge. Establish. So that’s on the, um, um, that was number eight. So number nine, integrate your brand into every aspect of your business. The brand building process never stops. So can you ever just be relaxed and you say, okay, I figured out my brand? Uh, no, I don’t think you can. Right? I think there’s competitors out there to get you. I mean it, you know, it’s friendly, it’s competitive, but when a business prosper in other one fails, right? There’s only so much marketplace, right? So you gotta be, um,
Speaker 2 49:25 I always say it in this true in my business, it’s always easier to keep a customer happy than to go get a new one. That is very true. Isn’t that true? Although many people don’t believe that many people think like they don’t believe that. Well the, I, I think if you, if you ditch enough customers, you’ll soon find that you’ll change your mind. All right? You will. There’s, but there are people who um, really have very low regard for the customers. It’s about jumping, jump out, grab the dollar, get out and um, social media is rapidly changed. That whole concept. Also we’re out here in the central Valley having done business in, in the San Jose area, it’s a completely different thing because it’s a sheer volume of people. So I don’t think, again, it’s just easier
Speaker 1 50:13 to keep a customer happy then to go to get a new one. And you know what, in a tech world, cause I do are going through a lot of those, a software company, software as a service and, and investors measure churn. What is, how customers are you losing every year? So if you brought in a hundred customers, how many are going out the door that don’t renew because they didn’t like the brand experience, right? 10% 8% 5% 20% I mean, at some point it becomes alarming because if you’re bringing, you know, if you’re growing 20% every year, but you’re losing 20% you’re not growing, right? So you cannot ignore the wellbeing of your customers, right? They are your bread and butter. Treat him like they’re royalty, right? Right, right. Until such time that they don’t reserve, they don’t deserve your respect. And if it does that, then it’s not mutually symbiotic.
Speaker 1 51:00 You don’t benefit from them. They don’t benefit for you. Maybe you should. You should be willing to let go of clients. Right. Said that before. And that brings to mind, it begs the question, do you personally believe the customer’s always right? It’s not always right. Okay, good. No, because you know what? I have a moral obligation to tell the customer the truth. Right? Right. Now my version of the truth is backed up by, you know, gap accounting and, and what’s out there and what’s legal and morally right, right now if, if that doesn’t jive with, um, my customer, I have, I have a moral obligation to walk away, right? Because I can’t be a kid, let my own brand, um, you know, a customer that wants me to go on and in media and say something, you know, you know about a situation in which they wanted me to say something that wasn’t true.
Speaker 1 51:45 I can’t do that right now. I’m glad you say that because I think that the, a lot of people get into business or maybe they are, I have idealic and visions and really bend over backwards trying to, um, you know, please the customer and I’m all for that. But you bring up a really good point in that when the customers, um, perhaps their ethics or their desires or their, their end goal is diverging from yours and how you need to get there. Um, it’s important that you stay true to your brand and know when to walk away and know when to walk away. So number 10 is stay true. Your brand building consistency is key. And you know, um, Starbucks is the word is the world’s leading supplier of as coffee retailer and the brand has always promised to bring people together. I, you know, it’s funny, people go to Starbucks and not always have, they’re not there.
Speaker 1 52:35 They’re not always just consume anything. Just sit there. But the employees know that and they let that happen was because they are, their mission is to inspire and nurture the human spirit. One person, one cup in one neighborhood at a time. You could say a lot of things about Starbucks, but one thing is consistent. Almost all Starbucks that you go to, they have people in him right there. Just having, just, just meeting places. It’s a meeting place, a meeting place. The only, the other place that I’ve noticed that is sort of mimic that is the Panera bread. Panera spend a lot of time there. Ooh, I me too. And it’s funny, my husband built, when I’m in an AP in a neighboring town and until we were really intimately involved with the design, did not realize how much of the design, um, was central centrally focused around, um, being that hangout place where the plugins
Speaker 2 53:26 were put, how many circuits were in there and, and why they, it was a complicated build. Even though it’s a small, usually there’s small stores and in comparison like, you know, Macy’s or target or something. So in a relatively small, um, build, so much of the design has gone, um, been focused around making it a comfortable place to hang out and encouraging people to stay where as many years restaurants were designed to turn the table. How fast could we flip that table over and get a new customer sitting here, a completely do new. Um, but I think that’s a really good example of what we were talking about before about being unique and different, but yet not completely flying outside the coop either.
Speaker 1 54:09 Yes. And last but not least, we made it number 11, be your brand’s biggest advocate. Nobody cares more about your business that you do any, somebody cares more about your business in the U D you’re in trouble. So hope this was helpful to you guys. Any war, any words of wisdom, any final closing remarks?
Speaker 2 54:28 No, except for I think, well, okay, so I said no, but now here I go. Um, I, I, you know, really, really it’s all about you making, um, a definite and clear conscientious choice of what you want your business to look like and then making it look like that and build the business that you want. So in, in my industry, they, the adage is, um, tell them what you’re going to tell him, tell him and then tell him what you can tell him again.
Speaker 1 54:57 On that note, thank you everybody. Have a great weekend. We’ll talk to you next time.